Thursday, July 30, 2009

Millville Code Enforcement. Its Working!


I read in EACH of the 3 newspapers today that the City of Millville is stepping up code enforcement. BRAVO. Lets here for Dale Finch Liz Nicklus, the City Commisson and city employees for this effort!!
This blog has pushed this for a long time and I am pleased!!

Video Highlights of No Pay Protest July 28

Way to go everyone
State Worker Pay Rally









Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No Pay! No WAY!!! Update

Yesterday, I spent my day in Harrisburg with 3,000 other state employees protesting the fact that we will not getting paid THIS Friday due to the Pa budget impasse which has gone on for 29 days and counting. Gov Rendell is NOW considering a "stopgap budget" BUT it needs legislative approval. I doubt the Republican-controlled Senate will want to pass ANYTHING that will help fast Eddie.
Below is a report from Action News. The reporter was very cool and sympathetic to our situation. I can be seen in the background for a few seconds with a green sign that says " No Pa No Way".
It was hot out but its getting only hotter!!








-
Here is the latest UPDATE this afternoon:

From: Elmwood District Administrator
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 2:24 PM
To: Elmwood District Staff.
Subject: Budget impasse

FYI: This release may mean we will be paid as soon as 8/7/09 if an agreement is not reached by 8/3.

GOVERNOR RENDELL TO SEEK ‘BRIDGE’ TO PAY EMPLOYEES WHILE BUDGET TALKS CONTINUE

HARRISBURG – Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that if the General Assembly’s conference committee does not reach a budget agreement by Monday, Aug. 3, he will ask the House of Representatives to send him Senate Bill 850, which has already passed the Senate.

“I intend to approve only the funds that are necessary for the operation of government services and for public safety. I will veto all other line item appropriations,” Governor Rendell said. “I do not consider Senate Bill 850 to be a budget; it is simply a bridge to allow us to pay state workers and ensure the continued efficient operation of state government -- nothing more.

“I had resisted taking this step until now because I was hopeful that the administration and the four legislative caucuses would agree soon on a budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year that began July 1. But in the past few days, communication between legislative leaders and the administration has not been able to close the significant gap. This gap is due in large part to the continued belief on the part of the Senate Republicans that they feel no responsibility to negotiate, compromise or lead,” the Governor added.

“I cannot approve Senate Bill 850 in its entirety because I strongly believe that the funding levels it contains are insufficient for the core state programs of public education and health care, and the crucial economic development program that help create and retain jobs, and much more.

“I remain resolute in my commitment to enact a final budget that adequately funds programs that educate and support the children of this state, and continues to protect our older and disabled citizens, but in doing so I will not allow state employees to suffer any longer. They’ve done nothing wrong. Since July 1, they have reported to work and performed their duties, and they deserve to be compensated without undue delay. They and their families should not have to undergo further financial stress.

“This is by no means a solution to our budget crisis. Our public schools, hospitals, county human service agencies and many other necessary institutions will run short of funds in the next few weeks or months. This would result in the elimination or the severe reduction of services to students, the elderly, the infirm, people with mental disabilities, at-risk children, and other vulnerable residents who rely upon state government.

“I call upon the General Assembly to engage in diligent, non-stop, good faith negotiations in a spirit of compromise, and a willingness to produce a budget that balances fairly the interests of all citizens of Pennsylvania,” he concluded.

The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his newsletter, visit www.governor.state.pa.us.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cumberland County Needs Real Public Transit

I read in the News of News of Cumberland County and in Magazzu Watch about the serious lack of public transit in Cumberland County. A woman named MorningCloud Jones gathered a petition to have NJ Transit INCREASE weekday service on the Route 408 bus.
I now do understand this issue more then ever since I have taken the 408 bus several times in the past 2 weeks. Looking at the schedules, I wonder how folks with NO car can get by in Cumberland County. As Ms. Jones states in the News of Cumberland County Article:

"It's very tough, she said, to find a job when one must rely on a bus schedule to get there, even for an interview. In fact, it can become a vicious circle. Imagine: you don't have any or enough income to buy a car; so you can't land a job requiring efficient, reliable transportation; so you can't get the money to get that car, to achieve that reliability, that can get you the job."

I wish her luck and would like to help her with pushing the state and county to get serious about this. It must be a part of any economic development plan that is developed. Better yet lets continue the pressure to get started now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mushrooms: A response

This fellow was responding to my blog entry about the about the mushrooms in our backyard. Here is his response in the BEN Column of July 22nd. Below is one of the strangest pieces of writing I have ever read. Enjoy it. It is a HOOT!!


"Magic mushrooms were the ones from Alice In Wonderland, Mark!

"Ugly?

"Let's see; looks like a circumcised phallus (no cap to speak of), flies swarm to the white sticky stuff that oozes from the top.

"Gotta feel a certain kinship, don'tcha, Mike?

"Let me paraphrase: Man, such a gross form of life.

"The house subs were good: American, not Italian, as I disremember.

"Leroy was one happy man the day in 68 when George Wallace won the BHS student mock election!

"In a perfect world next to an ocean ... silence is ga-golden, William ... those houses full of lead? If he still talks that way, Joe Young!

- Dean Richards


Wow...man

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2001 Corolla $4,300

HI! I have a 2001 Toyota Corolla for sale with 95,000 miles. Its a 4dr 4 Cyl and in good shape. AM/FM radio. I love this car but I have to sell it. The car runs great. It is a very reliable and smooth ride. Well maintained car is a great commuter! I KNOW commuting for sure. Gives me about 30 MPG average. Interior is in perfect condition. Exterior is great shape as well. I would rate the interior (10 being the best ) a 9 and the exterior is a 7.5. Tires are in good shape. Brakes are also in good shape.Call me at my cell 215 990 6254 or send an email to mkrullrt55@gmail.com. Serious inquiries only please. Selling at BELOW Kelly Blue Book price for this car in GOOD Condition!!
Condition Value:
Excellent $4,975
Good $4,525
Fair $4,000

My Art My Millville!

At the Oar House Carl and I saw the Phillies win their 10th game in a row! So is what winning is like?! Speaking of winners, The new ad campaign for the Millville Arts District is a cut above. See the video below. Tonite Erin showed a piece of her art.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mushrooms

Due to the very wet weather we experienced in May and June this year, we had mushrooms growing. These were not the magic mushroom nor the ones from Alice in Wonderland that most folks think of; these are UGLY! They looked like a phallis and no "cap" to speak of. The flies will swarm to the white sticky stuff that ooozed out from the top of this fungus. We found out they are called Stinkhorns. Man, that is quite appropreate for such a gross form of life. You can find out more about this freak of nature here if you dare.
Here are some photos taken today. They are dried out since it has not rained in 2 weeks here in Millville. The video is quite graphic so keep the squimsh away.
video

3rd Friday at the Fithian House Gallery. July 17th

Third Friday at the Fithian House Galleryfeatured a band from Philly called The Great Unknown. Carolyne and Elizabeth saw them at an event in Philly and Elizabeth came up with the idea of having them over for 3rd Friday. They were excellent and played until dark around 11pm. We had folks come for the first time which was cool. Please enjoy the photos and the sample video of band playing on our neighbor's driveway. More videos can be seen here.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Taking the Bus to Phillly

This is a series of photos documenting my bus ride on the NJ Transit Rte 408 which goes from Millville to Philly. Its a 2 hour ride going though Camden, Glauchester City, Brooklawn, Westville, Deptford, Washington Twp, Glassboro, Pittman, Clayton, Franklinville, Vineland then ending in good ole Millville NJ. I went though the 5 points where I passed the 5 points Diner. Wonder if its a decent diner. It is sure in a prime location. I can see that that intersection could be dangerous at night These are all the towns I skip crusing along route 55. This was an interesting ride and I even met several nice people I hope to see again. Anyhow today was a good day off and back to work tomorrow but its 3rd Friday!! Today was the first real hot day. The AC's were going for sure. Enjoy!!!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SEIU Local 668 Protests Budget Impasse




Yesterday July 14 we at the Philadelphia County Assistance Elmwood District held a breakout to call attention to the Pa Budget Impasse. We did get coverage in the local Philly newscasts. Hell, even my letter to the editor made it in today's Philly Inquirer.
Now its off to the 6am bus

Monday, July 13, 2009

Harrisburg: 'F' for failure in a system of shame


Harrisburg: 'F' for failure in a system of shame
Inquirer reporter John Baer It's no surprise that our Legislature gets an “F” from the Center for Public Integrity in a national report on lawmakers disclosing information about assets, holdings or connections to special interests
As a state employee I have to report any 2nd job I have but THEY(our Legislature pictured here)
do not have to.
And the budget impassed drags on.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This is What's Wrong with Washington DC


Bill Moyers on what's wrong with our government, citing the Washington Post's recent embarrassment, asking for lobbyists and CEO's to fork out a load of cash for a cozy dinner at their publisher, Katharine Weymouth's house, until they decided to cancel it after one of the lobbyists leaked the story to The Politico.
This shows how the elite really act!!


MOYERS: Quality, affordable health care's on the critical list in America. And so is the newspaper business. So maybe it's not surprising that one of the most powerful papers in the country attempted an unholy alliance, trying to turn a profit from its newsroom's coverage of the fight for health care reform.

You may have missed the story because it broke on the eve of the July 4th weekend. The publisher of THE WASHINGTON POST, Katharine Weymouth — one of the most powerful people in the nation's capital — invited top officials from the White House, the Cabinet and Congress to her home for an intimate, off-the-record dinner to discuss health care reform with some of her reporters and editors covering the story.

But she then invited CEOs and lobbyists from the health care industry to come, too — providing they fork over $25,000 a head, or a quarter of a million if they want to sponsor a whole series of these cozy little get-togethers. And what is the inducement she offers them? Nothing less than — and I'm quoting the invitation verbatim — "An exclusive opportunity to participate in the health care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done." The invitation reminds the CEOs and lobbyists that they will be buying access to "those powerful few in business and policy making who are forwarding, legislating, and reporting on the issues."

Remember, the invitation promises this private, intimate, and off-the-record dinner is an extension "of THE WASHINGTON POST brand of journalistic inquiry into the issues, a unique opportunity for stakeholders to hear and be heard."

Let that sink in. The "stakeholders" in health care reform in this case do not include the rabble — the folks across the country who actually need quality health care but can't afford it. If any of them showed up at the kitchen door on the night of this little soiree, a bouncer would drop kick them beyond the beltway.

In other words, before you can cross the threshold in Washington to reach "the select few who will actually get it done," you must first cross the palm of some outstretched hand. The dinner was canceled after the invite was leaked to the website politico.com — by a health care lobbyist, of all people. But it was enough to give us a glimpse into how things really work in Washington. A clear insight into why there is such a great disconnect between democracy and government today, between Washington and the rest of the country.

According to one poll after another, a majority of Americans not only want a public option in health care, they also think that growing inequality is bad for the country, that corporations have too much power over policy, that money in politics is the root of all evil, and that working families and poor communities need and deserve public support when the market fails to generate shared prosperity. But when the insiders in Washington finish tearing worthy intentions apart and devouring flesh from bone, none of these reforms happen. Oh, they say, "it's all about compromise, all in the nature of the give-and-take of representative democracy." That, people, is bull — the basic nutrient of Washington's high and mighty.

It's not about compromise. It's not about what the public wants. It's about money, the golden ticket to "the select few who actually get it done." And nothing will change. Nothing. Until the money-lenders are tossed out of the temple, and we tear down the sign they've placed on government — the one that reads: "For sale."

Saturday July 11








An interesting day. First off we went to the Auction at the Elks Lodge off of Broad Street in Millville. We did not see anything that would add to our gallery. I went to Summerfest for a short time nwhile walking my dogs. Met Rich and had a cold Coors Light. Next we left and went to Collingswood and saw the shoppes and went to the Perkins Gallery. We saw Steve Testa and ate at a nice mexican resturant.


video

Wall of Education is Built



Well, I must admit that its not as stupid looking as I thought and that is a good think. You can judge for yourself if you think if it was necessary. I have written about this dividing wall before but today I just took some photos. Hope the pine trees survive.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Money and Politics Today


I just watched Bill Moyers on PBS. It looked how corporate lobbyists and insiders hijack the health care debate.The Washington Post was going to have a health care get together with insiders and charge big money for folks to show. It was to be invite only. It was leaked out in Politico.com and was cancelled. I am very pessimistic about any reform to pass. The powerful insurance lobby will not let it happen. With corporate Democrats like Max Baccus ofMontana holding important positions of power and Wall Street aiding the Republicans in defeating this reform.
As the Pa Gov and legislature collect their per deims ( $158.00 per day) and squabble, some of us will not get paid and the cynicsm grows like weeds. PA is one of the very few states that actually had a decrease in the number of state employees from 2003-2008..
Also interesting is the following, showing that PA has one of the lowest ratios of state employees per 10,000 state residents.

All I know is I need to get paid and I will not be paid on July 31st if there is no Pa State budget is passed. Its all too much

Meanwhile AIG is requesting another bonus!!

.

Gov Rendell and the Legislature.No Friends for State Employees

Here I am expecting no Pay on July 31st due to the BOZO politicans and now we face a PAPER SHORTAGE!!! EEEK!!
Here is a memo from our office manager. Love the all caps??!

"TO ALL STAFF,

DUE TO THE BUDGET IMPASSE IT IS NECESSARY THAT WE CONSERVE OUR OFFICE SUPPLIES. PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF WHAT IS BEING PRINTED. SINCE OUR COPIER PAPER WILL BE THE FIRST TO RUN OUT AND MAY NOT BE REPLENISHED UNTIL THE BUDGET IS PASSED, PLEASE PRINT ONLY WHAT IS PERTINENT TO STATE WORK. OTHER COMMODITIES SUCH AS
TONER ARE A MAJOR CONCERN AND WE MUST MAKE THESE LAST AS LONG AS NECESSARY.
THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR COOPERATION."

Never Blog during Work

I was recently called on the carpet for my spelling and grammer on my recent posts. Well, this person was correct. I tried to blog at my job. My job is very buzy and loud and concetrating on blogging does not work. To you dear reader (I have about 2 of them) I will do better and try to be evenhanded when I possibly can. ByE

Notify property owners first about school site


Here is a letter printed in today's Daily Journal.. She make a very good point that the process for choosing the new school has been very secret. The Facilities Committee of the Board of Education is the place to ask questions. They have worked on this issue for about 2 years.

Notify property owners first about school site
I feel I must write in response to an article printed in The Daily Journal on June 26 regarding the new Millville High School.

Last week I took a few days off to vacation with family and friends. When I came home on Friday evening I had already received two calls on my cell phone, three calls on my home phone and five people who had stopped by my house. All of the calls were as a result of an article in Friday's paper regarding the eight sites being considered for the new high school.

Imagine my surprise when I got home and saw my beautiful home on the front page of the paper -- not because of its appearance, but because it is one of the eight sites being considered! The article stated "not all the property owners know the land is under consideration for the new school." I can vouch for that! We had no clue. We found out that they are thinking of building a school on our property by reading it in the newspaper!

At a family function the next day, our friends were joking that they were going to put a sign in our front yard that says "Future Home of Millville Senior High School." We didn't find the joke funny.

The article said that of the eight properties, the school board would decide on the final three and a "resolution would be adopted at the July 21 meeting." A resolution being "adopted" means the issue has already been resolved. That means that the final three have already been chosen by the time the July 21 meeting rolls around. I called the board office to get more information and to find out the location and time of the meeting and it was at that time that I learned that a meeting had already been held the night before. I then learned that the final three had in fact been chosen! The board will apparently submit the three finalists to the state at a meeting to be held next week. I have been advised that the discussions are under closed session and not open to the public!
I find this appalling. Common courtesy would have been to contact the property owners first. We built our house only four years ago and have put a lot of ourselves into it, not to mention a lot of money! I think the people involved in this transaction need to contact all people involved and keep them apprised of the developments of this school project. But, of course, that would be too considerate and more aggravation for them because of the stir it would cause.
Well, most of my neighbors and I are ready to cause that stir
Jeannette Pace
Millville

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Abatements and the Union Lake Shopping Center

While reading the Daily Journal question the abatements
http://www.thedailyjournal.com/article/20090708/NEWS01/907080344/-1/newsfront2/Tax-breaks-questioned-at-Union-Lake-plaza

Why should the abatment be cancelled for the whole shopping center when ONLY 2 stores are out of business.What happens if anouther business leaves? Will this issue come up again and again. Shopping Centers over the years change tenents. Does having an abatement force the shopping center to defend the abatementfor the other 90% or more that are STILL in business and STILL providing jobs?Surely there must be a good argument. The shopping center and the city should be able to defend itself with solid reasons since the MF will go after this forever.Is Porecca going to sue the city again? He diserves many awards for Chutzpah

Not to mention that the city collects $9003 more than if the 2 stores were fully taxed for 5 years. So lets give Millville a chance. Did we not have an election in May?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Hello. It was a mellow 4th of July weekend. Got some stuff done around the house and even had my neice and her friend try on clothing that the Fithian House sells. We went to the Flea Market in Vinland. I have not been there since we first moved out here in Millville in the Fall of 2003. Got to visit Bogarts Books for a change and saw some good bands play. Yesterday, we drove down Route 47 South towards Cape May. We checked out a few places then drove back. The weather was PERFECT this past weekend and its going to be sunny and 80's this entire week. Yes Summer is really here







videoy

Friday, July 03, 2009

July Holiday

Well we are chillin after month of June with Michael Jackson, Rain, and an economy still in poor shape. We might to Philly tonite for Space 1026 Gallery and the Charlesworth in Fortesque to see some old timey bands.






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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Freeholders Approve Open Space Plean
















At last a decision we in Cumberland County can applaud! As the News of Cumberland County reports:

"The Cumberland County Freeholder Board voted unanimously Wednesday to proceed with a countywide open space plan, which will take into account the entirety of the county's undeveloped space and recommend which areas are fit for development, which areas should be preserved for public use and which areas should be left alone.Just as important, the plan will allow Cumberland County access to state Green Acres funding.


This is an opportunity to perserve Cumberland County. Various environmental groups and activists from all over Cumberland County were there. I was 30 min late but I heard Jane Geletto urge the board to include buildout statistics when creating the open space plan and Matt Blake make impassioned statements supporting open space and questioning some stats on one of the County maps.
Here are some photos of this historic night that some have waited since 1994.

The devil of course is in the details. We do have a Freeholder election this November. Will this slow down the momentium of this moment as folks jocky for postion? Not sure but I do know that the pressure must keep up if we are to have an open space plan within the 2 years that County Plan Bob Brewer says it will take. From what I have heard we need to keep an eye on Mr. Brewer and have a diverse mix of folks serve on the committee that will be developing this plan. Mr Brewer in this meeting it would take about a year to 2 years. He said it would take 6 months to come up with a draft proposal Let us see what transpires.
Open Space is too important for foot dragging.


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